September brings cooler weather, warmer clothes, and the promise of a new school year. We hope that all of you are looking forward to a peaceful autumn filled with all you love most. As a new school year unfolds at Giraffe Laugh, we have to brag about our teachers for a start.
We celebrated Ms. Beverly being with us for 20 years and Ms. Laura for 17. What an incredible gift that is for the parents and children impacted by their kindness, comfort, hugs, smiles, and education of themselves and their children. The commitment to stay in this industry for so long while also attending college, raising children, and raising other people’s children is phenomenal and something to celebrate. We celebrated at a recent staff meeting, and this photo is of Ms. Beverly with her 20-year blanket and poem.
Our preschool teachers have all been working hard to learn a new curriculum called Teaching Strategies, which are designed to ensure that children are developing in all ways possible. It covers everything from academics to social/emotional and physical growth. We aim to put the tools teachers need into their hands, so they can feel confident about what children are learning and how much they are progressing. We can see it, but this curriculum has a component that tracks it so everyone can celebrate!
In the meantime, 91% of childcare and preschools in Idaho are struggling with hiring, ourselves included. Over 200 centers in Idaho have closed. The need is far outpacing the ability to serve families across our state. Our food pantry use has gone up 200%, and turning away daily calls for space takes a toll. We wish we could take every child and every family into the fold however that’s impossible. So we focus on who we can help.
Despite what might feel like a grim outlook for childcare in Idaho, we are hopeful. The support of our community, the committed teachers, directors, board, and administrators we have, along with fabulous families gives us the impetus to power forward through the coming months.
I hope some of you can join us at the Drive-In event coming up on September 24, 2021. It will be a phenomenal chance to interact outdoors with others who care about children and families and to enjoy an evening under the stars with us. We’ll have a short program then we’ll be watching Hook!
We have another event, our annual Futures Begin Here Luncheon coming up on November 4th, from 12-1 pm, that will have a virtual and in-person option. Come to both if you are able!
Have a lovely September, and enjoy those cooler temps and splashes of colors before they’re gone. Thank you for your support and for the inspiration we find in each of you.